Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
During these days leading up to Pesach, hundreds of adolescent girls from the Nifgashot workshop are composing their own Haggadah together with me. Here are some beautiful thoughts from one of the girls, 13-year-old Noam Biton from Safed:
The holiday of Pesach represents leaving slavery for freedom. But in order to achieve freedom, we must first examine why we are enslaved. This year, our slavery has been the corona. I am not talking about the necessity of treating the pandemic, but rather our preoccupation with it. Try an experiment: have a conversation with friends in your living room or around the Shabbat table, and check how many minutes it takes before the talk turns to the corona. In general, this will take no more than a few minutes.
Throughout the past year, all of our thoughts and words focused on the pandemic and nothing else. We continually asked ouselves: 'Will this pandemic ever end? Will we go into isolation? Were we beside someone who tested positive? When will they reopen the schools?' I am even missing former concerns such as 'my room is a mess' or 'I didn't do my homework.' It's impossible to escape the corona; everything leads to it.
But this slavery is not forever. We can and we must refresh and renew ourselves, and reach a higher level - to adhere to the pandemic guidelines but to occupy ourselves with an abundance of other matters. Not to live only for survival, but rather for more essential things. The holiday of Pesach this year is an opportunity to leave this slavery, to bring our brains to freedom. And it's possible to start doing so at this very moment.